The Y’s aquatics department will add a Junior Lifeguard program and conditioning teams this summer.
Before this summer, teens in the Plant City Family YMCA’s swimming programs didn’t have many options. Now, the Y is hoping to make a splash with what it considers an underserved group.
Aquatics Director Maggie Cattell said the Plant City Y will add two programming options specifically for the 12-to-17 age group this summer: a Junior Lifeguard program and conditioning teams for middle and high schoolers.
“We had a really successful season last year,” Cattell said. “So the issue became, once they hit 12 or 13, we didn’t have anything for them. That’s a huge disservice.”
The Junior Lifeguard program is a volunteer program where teens will assist lifeguards and swim instructors on the pool deck, teach lessons, help administer the Y’s swimming band tests and more. Cattell said the program provides both on-the-job experience and a way for teens to get volunteer hours. Though there is a fee to get in the program, the money will cover certification costs — teens in the program can earn their Junior Lifeguard certification and also receive CPR, AED and first aid training.
The conditioning teams are non-competitive groups meant to help swimmers stay in shape during the high school offseason, allow athletes in other sports the opportunity to swim for exercise in their offseasons and prepare swimmers for competitive team tryouts. Cattell said swimmers looking to do well at their tryouts will be able to learn their strokes at the Y and receive feedback from the coaches to help them improve in the pool. The season will begin in June and practices will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.